5 Best Hiking Trails in San Antonio (and Surrounding Areas)


Tired of sitting behind your desk all week? Want to get outside with the family? If you’re looking for a short escape into nature, San Antonio’s best hiking trails are just what you need.

With its gorgeous weather, diverse wildlife, and stunning scenery, San Antonio and the surrounding area remain a top choice for some of the best hiking trails in the state, especially in the fall! Whether you’re in the mood for something long and strenuous, or short and easy, there is a perfect hike for you.

We interviewed Boerne resident and health and wellness coach Natalie Sales, who makes hiking a regular activity for her and her family.

“My husband and I are both physically active, he loves tennis, and I’ve been a group exercise instructor and personal trainer for almost two decades. I wanted to find something we could do together, and after searching online, I found these five different hiking spots around San Antonio. We love them all, and we now make weekend hikes a regular activity. We even brought our two teenage daughters with us, and they loved it!” said Natalie.

So lace up your hiking boots and add these five hiking trails in San Antonio and surrounding areas to your list. You may even make it a weekend activity with your family!

1. Lost Maples State Natural Area

You don’t have to travel far to see cascades of brilliant fall foliage near San Antonio. Lost Maples is considered one of the best places to hike in all the state – especially during spring and fall. Trails lead along the misty Sabinal River, through towering cypress trees and lush underbrush, and up steep canyon inclines to incredible hilltop views. When autumn rolls around, a blaze of vivid orange and red hues takes over the area, drawing dozens of visitors every weekend. “The area is absolutely breathtaking, and I highly recommend heading over to Lost Maples Winery after your hike to taste some of their amazing, locally-made wines,” said Natalie.

Plan ahead with reservations so you don’t miss out!

2. Guadalupe River State Park

If you’re looking for a quiet getaway in untouched natural wilderness, Guadalupe River State Park is the perfect spot, and one of Natalie’s favorites. Tranquil bankside scenery frames the Guadalupe River, including wildflowers, river willows, and ornate mesquite trees. Explore the grass-filled plains and pine tree-lined paths, dotted with sign posts pointing out the local plants. Keep an eye out for armadillos and foxes hiding within the brush. Once you’re ready to cool down, enjoy a dip in the clear waters of the river.

3. Garner State Park

Every local has fond memories at Garner State Park, and according to Natalie, it’s family-friendly and there is a lot to do if you have kids. This popular spot stretches across 1,774 acres of Hill Country terrain and brims with hiking trails, camping spots, and scenic overlooks to the crystal clear waters of the Frio River below. The river draws crowds in the summer for rafting, tubing, and overnight camping, but the trails offer a respite away from the hustle and bustle. Pack plenty of water and make the trek up Old Baldy trail for breathtaking views over the glimmering river and the rolling green pastures of the Hill Country.

4. Cibolo Nature Center

Cibolo Nature Center is like walking into the secret wooded hideout of your childhood dreams. Located in Cibolo in far northwest San Antonio, this park will make you forget you’re just a stone’s throw away from the city. Large knotted trees with twisted roots and bright green canopies line the banks of the gentle Cibolo Creek. Tall wildflowers shoot up from the ground at springtime, and leopard frogs, schools of fish, and tranquil birdsong complete the scene of utmost serenity. If you’re looking for some easy walking in a relaxing natural setting, this is the spot for you.

5. Government Canyon State Natural Area

If you’re in the mood for something a little more challenging, Natalie recommends heading over to Government Canyon in northwest San Antonio which has some of the most extensive hiking trail systems in the area. With truly rough and rugged terrain, Government Canyon calls for sturdy hiking boots and plenty of water. Venture deep into the lush Hill Country forest, peppered with colorful wildflowers, and make your way to the famous dinosaur tracks preserved along the trails!

One year and hundreds of hikes later, Natalie can happily say that she and her husband now have an activity that they love to do together and have a greater appreciation for the natural beauty found right here in the San Antonio area!

Natalie Sales is a health and wellness coach based in Boerne, TX. She works with busy moms, overworked executives, and women with autoimmune disorders, helping them to regain energy, improve mood and balance, and get to the root cause of their digestive issues. 

She has been a group exercise instructor and personal trainer for more than 15 years, but her true passion is working one-on-one with people who’re ready to be the best versions of themselves both inside and out. If you’re interested in working with Natalie, you can reach her at nmrazsales@gmail.com or call (956) 455-3145.